Say You Won't Let Go (Page 10)
I hesitate, watching her. “I didn’t send you flowers, Em.”
She steps out of the room, and her smile fades a little. “Yes, you did. It’s why I called you last night.”
My brow furrows as I wonder what the hell is going on, and then I look at the card; anger mixes with jealousy as they spike through my bloodstream.
I put the card in the air and shake my head. “Is there someone else you’re hookin’ up with?”
“What?” She rears back.
“I didn’t send these, Em.” I watch as all the color drains from Emily’s face.
Her lips part, and she looks terrified. “Oh, God.”
I try to stay calm. She and I are extremely new, and I have no idea if there was a man before me. I clench my jaw before letting out a heavy sigh. “Is there someone else?”
Emily steps close and puts her hands on my chest. “No.”
“Because I swear to God, I won’t be in some fucking love triangle again.”
My feelings toward Emily are so much stronger than I ever had for Grace, and I know I wouldn’t survive her choosing another man over me. There’s no way I’m willing to put up with that again. If she wants me, she has to choose me. I plan to show her why there is no other option.
Her hand rests on my heart, and she tilts her face so she can look at me. “There’s no one else, Coop. Not even close. I’m not that girl. I genuinely thought you sent me the roses.”
“I wish I had,” I admit as all the anger dissipates from my body, leaving a trail of something else. Who did send her flowers about kissing her? “I should’ve sent you flowers.”
She smiles softly. “I like having you much more than some silly flowers.”
“Well, if they weren’t from me, who the hell are they from?”
I don’t like the idea of someone else giving her things or sending notes like this to her. I want to be the one to give her the world.
“I have no idea. Maybe it was for someone else on the tour?”
“No clue, darlin’.” I look down at my watch and groan internally. “Let’s talk about this later, we’re runnin’ on borrowed time.”
My arms tighten, and I squeeze her against me, where she fits perfectly.
I should’ve told him my suspicions about the flowers being from whoever keeps sending the letters, but I couldn’t. Last thing I need is a lecture on security or to have a man overreact. Until I know what is going on, I’ve got it handled. I’d be full of shit if I said I wasn’t concerned. This is the third thing in just a few days from this person.
However, Cooper doesn’t need to be mixed up in this.
I extricate myself from Cooper’s arms—begrudgingly. I hate that he’s leaving, but I can’t be too mad since I’ll be back on the road tonight after the concert.
“Let’s go before I tie you up in my room and never let you leave,” I say, only half-joking.
Cooper laughs and takes my hand. We fit together perfectly in so many ways. Last night was everything and more. I fell hard, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to get back up.
“I may like that,” Cooper jokes.
“Oh, I know you would. I’d be very good to you.”
He laughs as I pull him forward, giving me one of those playful grins. “You’re killin’ me.”
“But what a way to go,” I say over my shoulder.
We exit the bus, and there’s a small line of fans standing over to the side. It’s crazy how early they come just for a glimpse of Luke. Hours they stand outside in the rain and heat for autographs, but it’s the coolest thing ever. One day, I pray I’ll have devoted fans like that.
“Emily!” A deep voice booms from the gate. “Emily!”
I smile and wave to my one fan; I swear I’ve seen him before.
Cooper wraps his arm around my middle. “You have a fan.”
“I do,” I smile, looking up at him with my fingers resting on his chest.
His green eyes stare down at me. “A man.”
I shake my head. “I know. You’re observant this morning.”
Cooper’s lips find mine, and he holds me tight. “I’m feeling a lot of things this morning.”
“Yeah, and protective is clearly at the top.”
Cooper’s eyes turn serious as his honesty pours through each syllable. “I’ll do whatever I can to keep you safe. It’s what a man should do, and more than that, it’s what I’ll always do.”
That is exactly why I’m hiding things from you, Coop.
We walk, and I keep quiet, trying to wrestle with the conflicting emotions I’m struggling with. I like that Cooper feels protective of me, which is very unlike me.
Cooper, though, he is that kind of guy. The one who wants to be the rock in the relationship. You can feel it all around him. He emanates dominance, but not in that do-as-I-say kind of way, it’s more of the I’m-here-and-no-one-will-hurt-you kind of way, but I also don’t trust men to stay that way. I watched it with my father too many times.
“You’re quiet,” Cooper notes as we get to his truck.
“I know. I just want you to know there will be more male fans, Coop.”
He nods. “I know. Doesn’t mean I like it.”
“And what about the girls who dream of the sexy and eligible Cooper Townsend?” I raise a brow while leaning against the truck.
Cooper and the Hennington brothers were every girl’s dream in that town. He has no idea just how many dreams he’s starred in. Which may just be a very good thing.
“Like who?” he scoffs.
I lean forward and grin. “Felicia?”
Cooper’s face says it all. “Hell no. That girl is a bloodsucking viper.”
“Hmm.” I pretend to think. “Oh, Betsy.”
His hips press against my torso, pinning me to the car. “Now that isn’t even funny.”
The giggle that comes from my lips is light. It’s actually very funny because Betsy’s mother has been trying to set the two of them up forever. It’s a running joke between Grace, Presley, and me. Poor Cooper went on a blind date, only to find out Betsy’s family had finally tricked him. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall.
“I’ll make it up to you.” I grin as I trail my finger down his chest.
“Damn right you will.”
* * * *
“Do you promise to call?” I ask, vying for one more minute with him even though we’ve been saying goodbye for ten minutes. Breakfast was great, and now he has to leave, which is tearing me up inside.
“I don’t think you could stop me.”
“Now go on inside, and I’ll see you soon.”
I’ve kept him here long enough. It’s time to make this a little easier for him. “Okay. I’ll call you after my show.”
We kiss again, and he moves back, allowing me to go inside. I have a show in a few hours and could use a nap. I inhale and open the door. My heart feels as if it’s being ripped from my chest as I take a step up and look back at him.
Cooper’s eyes are filled with sadness, but he manages a small smile.
I smile and close the door.
My hand rests on the door, and I fight back the rush of despair that threatens to overtake me. I need to take a nap and get my shit together. I’m living a dream that people would kill for. I have to have faith that Cooper and I will figure our relationship out.
I climb the rest of the steps and stop.
My bus is trashed.
Things are strewn around the room. Papers and my clothes are everywhere. The roses are on the floor, smashed amongst the shards from the broken vase. I move forward, assessing the damage, and there’s another note taped to the window, cut-out magazine letters glued haphazardly into a single sentence: You’re playing a dangerous game.
My heart races as I dart off the bus. Someone was on my bus. Someone went through my clothes.
I’m going to be sick. Bile climbs my throat as I struggle to catch my breath. What the hell am I going to do?
With my back against the bus, I squeeze my eyes closed and try to focus on breathing. I need to calm down, but I can’t get the image of that note out of my head.
A hand touches my shoulder, and I scream. “No!”
“Em!” Cooper’s voice is full of concern. “What’s wrong?”
There’s no stopping the emotions that explode from me. I burst out in tears and fling myself in his arms.
He holds me and tries to soothe me as I quiver and cry. It’s no use, though. I’m too terrified to even get an explanation out. The notes and flowers were one thing, but that person getting on my bus is a whole other level of scary.
“Hey, talk to me,” he encourages.
I swallow and know there’s no way I can keep this from him anymore. “I’ve been getting letters and then—”
“Letters?” Cooper stiffens.
“M-my bus—” I start but then gesture to the closed door, unable to actually say it.
Cooper’s eyes meet mine, and I see the shift happen. He releases me but takes my hand in his.